A Santa Clara man is the latest to lose expensive French Bulldogs to armed dognappers.
Four burglars with guns in hand invaded Misael Rodriguez’s two-story, Santa Clara apartment on the 2700 block of Newhall St. on April 4 at 1 a.m.
They carried off his two purebred French Bulldogs, valued at $30,000, leaving electronics and cash. Rodriguez and his mother were threatened but unharmed.
Rodriguez was upstairs in his bedroom watching TV when he heard his normally friendly, quiet two “Frenchies” barking and growling.
“They never growl, even at other dogs, so I went downstairs to investigate,” said Rodriguez.
He glanced out the front door peephole. Not seeing anything, he confined the dogs, Zoe and Dior, in the dining room and unlocked the door to check further. Four masked, gloved, armed men kicked the door, forcing their way inside. The first pointed a handgun at Rodriguez.
“This is Santa Clara. You’re not expecting burglars with guns,” said Rodriguez, born in Palo Alto. “My first instinct was to turn around and run. The first thing I thought about was my mother.”
Rodriguez pushed away the gun and ran upstairs, the dognapper following.
“Lock your [bedroom] door, Mom!” he called out to her in Spanish. “They broke in!” He locked himself in a bathroom and called 911.
The gunman tried to break into the bathroom and then the mother’s bedroom but ran downstairs when Rodriguez’s mother shouted that she was calling the police.
Then the house fell silent. The intruders had run off, taking Zoe and Dior with them.
“My heart sank,” said Rodriquez. “My mom broke down and cried.”
The police arrived in under five minutes. When Rodriguez opened the front door, they pointed a gun at him, told him to show them his hands, and handcuffed him until they established his identity.
“These girls are my kids,” said Rodriguez, who calls them the Lilac sisters because of their coloring. He walked them twice a day, often taking them to a dog park.
Rodriguez fell in love with “Frenchies” as a youngster—his uncle had one. One of the most popular breeds, French Bulldogs are expensive because of the cost of breeding by artificial insemination and cesarean delivery. He worked hard to save enough money to buy his “girls.”
“I didn’t grow up with rich parents in gated communities,” he said. “I wish my driveway was as long as my street.”
Rodriguez feels hopeful about recovering Zoe and Dior because their story is trending on news and social media, making it challenging to conceal and sell them.
In January, a French bulldog stolen from the yard of a San Jose family was later recovered.
In February of 2021, in West Hollywood, gunmen snatched two of Lady Gaga’s three French bulldogs and shot their dog walker, who recovered. The dogs were recovered.
In November of 2021, a French bulldog was stolen from a Santa Clara shopping center, according to Santa Clara Police Lt. Tyson Shearer.
“I pray that whoever has Zoe and Dior is taking good care of them,” said Rodriguez, who is offering a $5,000 recovery reward.
Call the Santa Clara Police anonymous tip line (408) 615-4847 or Rodriguez (650) 793-4292 with leads.